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Q1 NODX up 15.2%, 2017 forecast revised to 4-6%
AFTER last year's decline, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) are likely to bounce back to grow 4 to 6 per cent year-on-year in 2017.
The more upbeat forecast by trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore improves on the earlier forecast of 0 to 2 per cent growth - and came after the NODX surged 15.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.
"The global economic and trade outlook has improved since early 2017, notwithstanding uncertainties surrounding near-term economic and policy developments," IE Singapore said in releasing the first-quarter trade data on Thursday.
The International Monetary Fund has upgraded its 2017 global growth forecast from 3.4 to 3.5 per cent as economic momentum picked up in key trading nations, including those in the advanced economies, Asean and China.
The World Trade Organisation tips global trade to rebound from a tepid 1.3 per cent growth in 2016 to expand by 1.8 to 3.6 per cent in 2017.
Global trade has gained momentum since the final quarter of 2016. The NODX has similarly recovered from a 5.4 per cent fall in the third quarter to grow 2.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2016.
The NODX slipped 2.8 per cent for the full year of 2016. IE Singapore said NODX in the first quarter of this year rose on the back of increased shipments in both electronic and non-electronic goods.
Domestic exports of electronic products, which accounted for 28 per cent of total NODX, jumped 9 per cent in the first three months of 2017, up from a 1 per cent rise in the previous quarter.
Integrated circuits rose 21.5 per cent, personal computer parts rose 21.6 per cent, and disk media products rose 10.3 per cent. They contributed the most to the increase in electronic NODX.
Non-electronic NODX, which made up 72 per cent of NODX, increased 17.8 per cent, against a 3.5 per cent gain in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The biggest contributors to the rise in non-electronic NODX were specialised machinery (+92.6 per cent), petrochemicals (+41.9 per cent) and non-monetary gold (+28.9 per cent).
NODX shipments to nearly all the top 10 markets jumped in the first quarter, with China (+48.6 per cent), Taiwan (+52.7 per cent) and South Korea (+36.8 per cent) being the three biggest contributors to the jump.
NODX exports to the EU dipped 0.4 per cent.
Total Trade extended its growth from 4 per cent in the previous quarter to 16.3 per cent in the first three months of 2017. This has also led IE Singapore to adjust upward its full-year growth forecast for trade from 4-6 per cent to 5-7 per cent.
Oil trade accounted for the bulk (64 per cent) of the trade expansion in the first quarter. Thanks to higher oil prices, oil trade saw a 77.1 per cent spike, compared to a 15.4 per cent increase in the preceding quarter.
Non-oil trade crept up 6.8 per cent in the first quarter, after a 1.8 per cent increase in the previous quarter.
Non-oil shipments, which includes both NODX and non-oil re-exports (NORX), jumped 10 per cent in the first quarter, after a 0.1 per cent rise in the last quarter of 2016.
NORX rose 6.6 per cent in the first quarter, following a 1.4 per cent drop in the previous quarter.
Total services trade also continued to rise, posting a 4.3 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2017, better than the 3.4 per cent growth in the previous quarter.
Total services trade hit S$106.8 billion for the quarter, with both services exports and imports rising 3.9 and 4.6 per cent, respectively.